Stephanie Hurt – Romance Author

This WordPress.com site confirms all things are possible through God!


Leave a comment

Friday Editing Thoughts…

Photo by Prateek Katyal on Pexels.com

Good Friday morning! It’s been a crazy week in the tax office. Between deadlines and paperwork, I’ve been swamp. My reprieve is my writing. Yesterday I was able to get lost in my words for a whole thirty minutes. And that was an accomplishment. But for those thirty minutes, I was somewhere else…

Now, with this new book, I’m trying something new. Although I started sending my editor two chapters at a time during my last book, this time I’m editing some before I send it. And yes, I normally edit as I go anyway, but this time is different. I’m delving into my words even deeper the first time around.

I’ve been really working on the words that I tend to use a little too often. It’s funny how we lean on some words more often than we should. So, I’m finding new, more colorful words to take their place. Take for instance the word ‘look’. I seem to have a love for that word, lol! That is one word that I’m having a hard time letting go. I am replacing it with gaze, glimpsed, focused, stared, gaped, etc. You get the picture.

With this new form of editing, I’m using the thesaurus a lot. It’s a tool that is most important to a writer. And they say you can’t teach old dogs new tricks, but this one is learning so much from viewing the thesaurus. See, I’m using a new word.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


Leave a comment

Don’t rush it… Patience needed!

Photo by Mike van Schoonderwalt on Pexels.com

What a dreary Monday! Monday’s are a struggle, but when you wake up to rain and bone chilling cold, well, it puts you in the wrong mood. So, let’s talk patience. LOL! Yep, that word that we’ve forgotten existed…

Patience by definition is the ability to take things in stride, not rush into something, without getting upset. In other words, even though you want to do something so badly that you hit the start button before you have everything ready. And that’s where you get into trouble.

Here’s what the Bible says: Romans 12:12 “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.”

And I know how hard it is to be patient, especially when you have a new release coming. Here’s an example: You’ve finished your current work in progress, but you need to edit, then send to your editor for more edits, then add those new edits, market for the new release, make sure the cover is ready, etc… You get the point. But the problem with all of this is that it takes time to do all of this, and all of this is important. If you jump into the pot before the grease is hot, well, you’ll just end up soggy.

It’s like putting a puzzle together. You can’t rush to the last piece without putting all of the other pieces together first. It’s impossible, so you have to patiently put the other pieces together. The same with publishing a book. One step at a time…

So, here’s my advice and believe me, I’ve been there and done that. Make sure to check all the boxes before you hit submit. You wouldn’t publish to Amazon before you had a cover, would you? Then don’t publish before you’ve got the steps completed in order to put out the best book you possibly can.

Patience is something we have to work on. Me included. If you feel like you’ve just got to do something, then start on the next project and market like crazy for the one you’re about to release. But make it right the first time and the patience will pay off.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


Leave a comment

Indie Publishing… Growing

Photo by fotografierende on Pexels.com

3 Ways Indies Can Improve Self-Publishing

As a writer I see a lot of writers come and go in the spot light. It’s amazing how many books are appearing on Amazon and other platforms daily. When I started publishing my work in 2012, you could stay on the front page of new releases for at least 24 hours. Now you’re lucky if you stay there for 24 minutes. 

I’ve found out a couple of things about some of this craziness and that’s the indie authors that haven’t done their homework. Here are 3 of the many ways indies can improve self-publishing and the stigma that goes with it. But also, things have changed on that front too. Now more people are self publishing that ever before.

1: Editing. How many times do you edit your book? I know how exciting it can be to get to the words ‘The End’ and want it out there right then, but that’s a mistake. Make sure you read your work several times and one of those needs to be out loud. I recently went in and revised one of my first published books due to the fact that I put it out there way too fast. Editing is a very important part of the publishing process and as a self-publisher that’s up to you the writer. Also, there are many great editors out there that don’t cost you an arm and leg to hire them. It’s well worth the money and your work will benefit from an extra eye.

2: Cover Design: This is critical. When I look back at my first covers that I designed, I seriously laugh. They were so boring and uninspiring, but being an accountant I didn’t train on creative design software. That’s when I put me assistant to work as my cover designer. She took one look at my work and said ‘not happening’. She went to work and designed the awesome covers that now grace my books. This is the first thing that a potential reader sees. If it doesn’t inspire them, they will go on to the next book. And on top of that, make sure it’s relevant with the book and make it vibrant.

3: The Book Blurb: As a self-publisher this is solely your responsibility. This is one of the hardest things to do for me. Don’t get too out there. Make sure it’s very expressive and use lots of expressive words, but don’t give a lot away. If you give away the ‘who done it’ then there’s no sense reading the book. Make several different ones and have some other people read it. See what they think. Also, in the blurb, give the person a sense of thrill for picking up your book.

This was just a few of the ways that help a self published author. And remember, these are important parts of your book. Of course, the inside is important, but to get someone to actually see the inside, you need to get them to buy it first.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


Leave a comment

Edit until it hurts…

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com

Why does editing hurt so bad? For one thing, you’ve put your blood, sweat, and tears into the work, so yes, it will hurt. The other thing is, it’s hard to cut out what you think needs to be there.

But I have some advice, and I had to take this advice myself. In order to make the work the best it can be, then you’ve got to trim the fat. And believe me, it hurts, but once you’ve done it, you’ll see the better product. Sometimes I look at my editor and shake my head. But, once I see it in another light, then I’m better with it.

So, here is what you need to tell yourself, it only makes it better. Yes, you will have to do this multiple times.

Repeat after me… It only makes it better!

Now, let me tell you the worst thing that can happen, and this happened to me. One of my previous editors told me to get rid half a chapter and I had a meltdown, but once I took the plunge, I saw it worked and flowed better. And in the end, that’s our goal, to make our work flow. If it doesn’t, then the reader won’t enjoy the read.

So, edit without mercy and keep the tissues close as you do.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


Leave a comment

5 things every author needs to know…

Photo by Studio 7042 on Pexels.com

Good morning! Writing… Writers block… Publishing… The life of a writer. It’s a roller coaster and not for the faint of heart. Here are the top 5 things every author needs to know about starting to write and publish…

  1. It’s not as easy as it looks. Let me be very clear about this, writing isn’t easy. There’s more to it than simply writing words. You’ve got to make sure to plot, plan, and organize those words to where the reader can get lost in the world you’ve created. If you don’t do it with an ebb and flow, then the reader will lose interest and move on. So, don’t think it’s just putting words on paper. There’s so much more to the process.
  2. Writer’s block is real! Every author has experienced writer’s block at one time or the other. It’s a helpless feeling and only perseverance gets you through it. You can get past it, just have confidence. Keep writing and working on other projects.
  3. Editor’s are essential. Alright, let’s all say this and put on repeat! Editors are essential. Even the most savvy writer can’t find all of the mistakes or bad wording in a manuscript. To be honest, editors miss some too. But let’s be honest, when we’re reading our own work, it’s hard to be completely harsh. An editor can help to reword things so that the story flows better. And some changes, even though they can hurt, are necessary.
  4. Read everyday… It may sound crazy, but reading actually helps you as a writer. But read in the genre that you write in. I’ve been reading books that the author wrote with such clear, precise wording that I was inspired. And I’ve read books that lost me from the first page. When I read things like this, it helps me to look at my work differently. Try it.
  5. Know your audience. If you write sweet romance, then don’t go too heavy on the love scenes. Advertising a book as one genre, but the book actually leaning more in another direction can make readers not trust you. So, know who you’re pushing this book to. The same with mysteries turning into nothing more than a romance with nothing to solve. I’ve read books like this and it is disheartening. Also, make sure if the book is erotic, let the reader know.

I could keep going, but you need to get back to writing and so do I. But I hope this helped you a little.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


Leave a comment

Step out of your comfort zone…

Photo by Sam Kolder on Pexels.com

Alright, every writer knows what I’m talking about when I say, to publish your manuscript, you have to step out of your comfort zone. It’s that moment that you hit submit… Your body trembles… You begin to sweat… You rethink everything in your manuscript… Did I change that dialogue? Did I correct that misspelled word? Did I send it to the right place?

We’ve all felt it and for me, every time I hit submit, I still go through all of these feelings. Even after over 45 romances published, it never gets easier. But it starts to get more satisfying.

So, if you have a manuscript that you’re just holding on to, put it out there. It can’t soar if you don’t. Let your book step out in the light and breathe.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


Leave a comment

Wednesday giggles…

Have you ever been writing and went back to read over what you’d written? Sometimes you have to sit back and go, what the heck was I thinking…

I had one of those moments just now. It was a LOL moment. I have no clue what I was trying to say, but I had to delete almost a whole paragraph.

That’s why we edit, edit, and edit some more. Then we send to an editor, then edit some more. Sometimes I really think I’m drunk when I write some of my words. But, as I’ve said a thousand times, it’s a rough draft people.

So, happy Wednesday people…

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

Come by and follow me on BookBub to keep up with all of my new releases!

https://www.bookbub.com/profile/stephanie-payne-hurt


Leave a comment

Monday Rough Draft…

Photo by Steve Johnson on Pexels.com

Monday! After a crazy busy weekend, all I wanted was a Pumpkin Spice Latte, but the Espresso machine was down at the coffee shop, so I had to get a Pumpkin Spice Coffee. Yep, not what I needed this Monday morning. So, pushing through the tired fog.

Rough draft… It’s the nemesis of a writer. How many rough drafts do you go through? Me? Several. The first round of writing on my manuscript is usually unreadable. My editor laughs when she gets one of my rough drafts. Often there is a question posed to me of ‘what the heck did you mean by that sentence?’ It actually makes me giggle when I go back in to see what she’s talking about.

But, are rough drafts essential when writing? No… Maybe… Yes! It gives you a chance to go back over what you’ve written. The rough draft also gives you the freedom to get the words on the paper. That’s why it’s called a rough draft. It’s the flow straight from your brain. There is no rhyme or reason to that first draft, it’s just pure writing at it’s roughest. I love getting that raw first draft on paper. There’s such a sense of freedom.

So, posing the above question again, how many drafts do you go through to get to the finished product?

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

Check out my newest release, Time Love – Marina’s Story… It’s on sale for a limited time only!


Leave a comment

Writing through Menopause brain…

Photo by energepic.com on Pexels.com

Alright ladies, who can raise their hand on this one? If you’re already at that age where your brain is fuzzy at best, then you’re aware of the effects it has on your writing. Some days my mind just doesn’t want to function, which can cause quite a disturbance in my daily word count. What to do?

For me, I caffeine up and take something naturally, which does help, but there are days when none of this makes a difference. I feel sluggish, irritable and just uninterested. That makes me crazy since writing is my happy place.

I’ve been reading a lot lately on how to combat this. One of the things is I make sure that I write everyday, even through the fuzzy edged mind. My editor laughs sometimes when she gets the first draft because, well, the menopause brain makes me stumble over my words, quite literally. Some of my words get ahead of themselves, but thank goodness she understands me, so she plows through it.

Another thing that has helped is a painting app on my phone. When the fuzziness starts creeping in, I pull out my phone and begin to paint. It’s paint by numbers and very relaxing. I’ve also found that while I’m painting, I can work through plots and scenes in my head. So, this is helping.

How many of you have these issues? Let’s work through them together and get to the next stage in our lives. Yes, I’m proud to be almost 52. My life has been an amazing adventure and I know this season will be another adventure that I will laugh at when I get past it. But for now, I’ll just do everything in my power to keep up my work.

As always, May God Bless You…

And while you’re working through it, give Marina a read. It’s a short story to finish out my The Journal Series.

https://books.apple.com/us/book/id1535894983

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/marinas-story-timeless-love-stephanie-hurt/1137860225?ean=2940162731931


2 Comments

When writing is hard… Push through it!

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Hit a wall with your current project? At a loss for words, literally? Yep, I’ve been there and other writers have too. The words stop… The creative juices reach a dam and stop… It’s like your internal hard drive crashes…

Push past that wall…

Everyone hits a wall, it’s only human. It’s how you react to that sudden wall standing in front of you that counts. So, here’s a couple of things I do when that wall jumps out and blocks my path.

1: Step back… Yes, step back. If you’re at a wall, then you need to clear your head, and redirect back to the project. When this happens to me, I’ll put that project aside and bring out an upcoming project to outline or even create some ads to inspire me.

2: Go back and read from the beginning of the project. Reintroduce yourself to the characters… Fall back in love with the story…

3: Don’t give up! Even though it seems like you’ve lost the battle, you haven’t. You’ve hit a wall that all writers hit. Push past it! Don’t let it control you. You’ve got this.

Now, get to writing and know that there will be obstacles, but you have the power to push through them. You’re a writer and that’s what you do. So write!

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

P.S.: Don’t forget that Marina’s Story is coming out on Saturday.

Love-Marinas-Story-Journal-ebook/dp/B08DFGK8JB